Saturday, July 31, 2010

The “Ethernet” Technology

Article picked from

The “Ethernet” Technology Know Korea / Know Korea

2010/07/28 12:58


Have you heard of the term “Ethernet?” Not Internet, mind you, but Ethernet. Well, I suppose it’s not exactly in our everyday vocab list.

Ethernet, stemming from the physical concept of the “ether,” refers to the computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs). In simpler words, it is a system where multiple computers scattered far and wide can form a network and share information. This system is widely used in the banking or trading industry that operates hundreds of branch stores.

Traditionally, the Ethernet market has been dominated by advanced countries such as the US, Japan, and Germany. But recently, Korean industrial Ethernet technology has been adopted as an international standard, marking a milestone for advancing into the world market.

Let’s learn a bit about this Korean Ethernet technology.

Faster and Easier to Fix

According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korea, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) approved of 5 RAPIEnet (Real-time Automation Protocols for Industrial Ethernet) technologies developed by Korea’s LS Industrial Systems. They passed the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS), which means that it is almost at its last step in becoming the international standard (IS).

LS Industrial Systems has developed RAPIEnet as a new industrial communications bus for use with its PLC (Power Line Communication) systems. The company says that in so doing the design has avoided the complications of hubs and switches and the accompanying excessive cabling required by established Ethernet technology.

RAPIEnet, while still compatible with the preexistent Ethernet standards, transmits data at a 1 GB-per-second speed and in case of a communications failure can repair the error 30 times as faster. It can be utilized in a variety of fields operated by automation systems such as semi-conductor and automobile manufacturing, or nuclear energy development.

Korea, the Forerunner of the Industrial Automation Technology

RAPIEnet is the fruit of the collaborative efforts between LS Industrial Systems and Hanyang University – corporation and academia. The volume of tangible and intangible profit generated by this technology’s approval as an international standard is incredibly huge. It laid the groundwork for Korea to advance into the global market of USD 10 billion’s scale. Also, the domestic market, worth of KRW 150 billion, which has so far been dominated by the USA, Germany, and Japan, is expected to be finally claimed back by the Korean technology.

It is also important to note the significance of the collaborative R&D efforts between corporations and schools, backed up by the government support. Korea will surely continue its endeavors to generate world-acknowledged brand-new technologies.

Spend the Summer at the Royal Palace

Article picked from

Spend the Summer at the Royal Palace Know Korea / Know Korea

2010/07/28 12:57


An event titled “Spending the Summer at the Royal Palace” is being held from July 24 through August 31 at Changgyeonggung Palace. Let me introduce it to you.

Upon entering the palace you will be able to see a banner in front of euhgoo (a stream flowing from a royal place) that traverses the palace.

The clear stream euhgoo flows along Geumcheon path with pleasant, gurgling sounds, and you can take a rest in the shades drawn by the lush trees planted along the path. The path is also adorned with a variety of aquatic plants such as lotuses and water lilies as well as twenty-some photographs.

<Euhgoo flowing along Geumcheon path>

You can spot friends, lovers, families here and there, as well as foreigners visiting Korea. There are kids on a field-trip with the assignment to observe water lilies and hyacinths. There are members of a photography club on an outing. The various aquatic plants with their beautiful features and purifying qualities grab people’s attention for a long time.

On the first day of the event, water lettuces known for their pollutant-fighting, purifying capacity were given out as a souvenir.

In the olden times, there were purported to be 8 ways of fighting the heat of the summer. According to Jeong Yak-Yong, a leading Korean philosopher in the late Joseon Dynasty, the 8 ways were :

1) Playing Baduk sitting on a cool bamboo mat
2) Practicing archery on a platform of pine trees
3) Playing the traditional Korean game of Tuho (throwing arrows into a jar)
4) Riding swings in the shade of a zelkova tree
5) Listening to the cry of cicadas in the forest
6) Writing poems on a rainy day
7) Washing feet in the moonlit night

How about trying a little vacation at Changgyeonggung palace, hmm?
Give it a try!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Saving the Earth with Electric Buses

Saving the Earth with Electric Buses
Downsides of driving a car?
Yes, there is the price of gas that never seems to skyrocket.

But on a bigger scale, there are more fundamentally worrisome issues: Climate change and the drainage of natural resources, especially the fossil fuels.

In respond to this environmental crisis, the international community has been taking actions. One of the measures widely initiated by the countries worldwide is reduction of carbon emissions. And naturally, the automobile industry is tightly linked with that.

Ever heard of environment-friendly electric vehicles (EV)?

Among the possible future environment-friendly vehicles, electric vehicles are taking the central stage. Many countries in the forefront of the automobile industry, including the U.S. and Japan, not to mention European countries, have declared their resolutions to manufacture 1 million electric vehicles.

Since electric vehicles run on electric batteries and motors instead of the traditional fossil fuels, they are drawing particular attention and interest nowadays that the regulations on exhaust emissions are becoming increasingly strict.

And Korea is not an exception in this “green growth” trend.

Beginning this November, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will begin the operation of 15 environment-friendly electric buses which emit absolutely no air pollution. At the moment the buses are having pilot runs since last June 21 in the Namsan circular route.

Electric buses run purely on electricity. Since they have no gas exhaust outlet, they do not emit fine dust particles, smoke, or other air pollution agents, nor do they discharge greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide like diesel buses. They don’t even emit heat and gaseous particles that are emitted by CNG (compressed natural gas) buses. So no doubt they are considered as an environment-friendly means of public transportation for the future. And they are expected to create more pleasant road and living environment conditions.

How are their functions?

The new electric buses boast the world’s best recharging capabilities, taking only 20 minutes to recharge. The high capacity batteries enable the buses to run for 120 km after recharging once and reach a maximum speed of 100km/h. The main components of the electric buses such as the battery, motor, inverter etc. were all developed using Korean technology.


The 15 buses will begin operating in the Namsan circular route – one of the more challenging routes in downtown Seoul and an area frequented by tourists. The new buses will be yet another attraction in one of Seoul’s main hot spots, Namsan. The exterior of the buses were designed to blend with Namsan’s scenic natural environment. Also, different designs such as Haechi, Seoul’s official color, and the Seoul logo, give the buses a “Seoul identity.”

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will start expanding the operation of these buses starting next year so that 3,800 buses – or the equivalent of half of Seoul’s bus fleet – will be electric buses by 2020. The remaining buses will be replaced by hybrid buses, thus completing the green revolution of Seoul’s public transportation system.

If Seoul meets its goal by 2020, even when considering greenhouse gases emitted by the power plant producing electricity, more than 40 tons of greenhouse gases can be reduced per bus in a year, adding up to 140,000 tons every year by 2020. Also, 800 tons of nitrogen oxide and 350 tons of hydrocarbons emitted every year in the city will no longer be emitted.

By 2020, half of Seoul’s buses will be replaced by environment-friendly electric vehicles. And Seoul plans to build an electric car recharging infrastructure that is unparalleled by other cities to ensure the effective supply of electric vehicles.

All about Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine)

The milky, off-white color….the deep, slightly bitter, mouth-watering taste…and the sweet finishing flavor….

Guess what it is?
Yes, indeed, we are talking about “makgeolli” here, one of Korea’s representative traditional alcoholic beverages.

In line with the recent makgeolli boom, the first web site devoted solely to makgeolli ( has been launched by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Korea Rice Foodstuffs Association.

“Juro” here refers to the journey of finding makgeolli and other tasty food along the road. It can also mean the longish table for placing liquor glasses, and by extension, the talk, laughter, and mingling among people taking place over a bowl of makgeolli.>

According to the Ministry of Food, this year’s makgeolli market is estimated to be around USD 550 million worth of scale. And 60% of the market nation-wide is dominated by a handful of major makgeolli manufactures, while for the capital region, as much as 70% is taken up by them.

The fact is that smaller, lesser-known, local makgeolli companies are losing ground in the competition with the giant companies. In case of Gyeonggi-do area, for instance, all 40 companies but for mere two or three are facing a drop in sales ever since the makgeolli boom.

So the Ministry of Food decided to open the above-mentioned web site to introduce and promote small and medium-sized makgeolli manufacturers that each have their own distinct color and flavor.

The web site’s two main themes are makgeolli and makgeolli side-dishes. There is a “Navigation” section where you can search for various types of makgeolli either according to its region or characteristics, as well as view customer reviews and experts analyses. There is also the “Liquor Talk” section where the visitors of the web site engage in free chats.

But I’d say the highlight of the site is the “makgeolli side-dishes” page, which introduces places that have the best dishes to go with makgeolli. Just by looking at the pictures of all kinds of “anjoo (dishes served with liquor),” your mouth will start watering!

There are around 700 makgeolli manufacturers throughout Korea, and as in the case of wine, each region boasts its own distinct flavor. On the web site, you can search for specific kinds of makgeolli that you want – whether it’s live makgeolli or sterilized makgeolli, or whether it’s made with Korean rice, exported rice, or flour etc. So you can pick and choose a makgeolli that just suits your taste.

Drinking makgeolli the right way?

Makgeolli tastes best when you stir it. Some people wait a while after pouring the liquor and just sip at the clear upper layer, saying it tastes crisp and clean that way, but then you’re missing out on the very gist of makgeolli. All the healthy parts – the yeast, lactic-acid bacteria, vitamin, fiber etc – are found in the sediment part that sinks to the bottom of your makgeolli bowl. So don’t forget to stir it!

The whiter makgeolli, the better?

Nope, that’s not true. The difference in color comes from different varieties of yeast. The Japanese-style rice yeast is closer to white in color, while wheat yeast, which is made in a typical Korean style, is somewhat yellowish in color. Rice yeast gives out a clear, simple taste and wheat yeast a richer and heavier taste. The choice is up to you.

Another tip: Sterilized makgeolli was made to enjoy the scent so it is best to keep it at around 5–10 degrees Celsius. In contrast, draught (live) makgeolli is made to savor the refreshing feeling of a carbonated drink, and so needs to be kept around 0–5 degrees Celsius.
Side dishes that go especially well with makgeolli? Among hundreds, I’d go for “jeon (Korean pancakes)” and “jokbal (pig’s feet)”!

The recent makgeolli boom is also in keeping with the Korean government’s efforts to globalize hansik (Korean cuisine) as well as to increase rice consumption.

And I hope the newly launched web site “” plays its part as a tool to spread makgeolli culture to people both at home and abroad!